YoYo Wallet Appoints Michael Rolph as CEO

Mobile wallet company Yoyo announced this week it has appointed Michael Rolph, one of the company’s co-founders, as CEO. Meanwhile, former Yoyo CEO Alain Falys has shifted into the role of the company’s chairman.

Prior to the appointment, Rolph had been serving as the company’s Chief Product Officer since January of 2016 and before assuming those responsibilities he had headed up sales and marketing efforts for Yoyo. The company noted that Rolph had been “instrumental” in bringing on large clients such as Caffè Nero and Planet Organic to Yoyo’s payment and loyalty marketing platform.

In his new role, Rolph will implement Yoyo’s strategic operations as it launches into a new phase of growth. And this is not a small task. In addition to aspiring to be the loyalty marketing platform of choice, the company is aiming for a 10x increase in transaction volume in the next 18 months. He noted that he and Falys will “continue to build on Yoyo’s foundation of profitable growth, as we secure new partnerships on the high street and move into an open banking world, becoming natural leaders in omni-channel loyalty marketing, whilst helping retailers super-charge the power of their data.”

In a blog post, Falys offered high praise for Rolph, saying, “Over the past four years, Michael and I have taken Yoyo from an idea to the point where it is now recognised as the leading retailer loyalty platform in the UK and, increasingly, internationally. The Yoyo team has achieved a great deal during that time, and under Michael’s leadership as CEO, our success will only continue to grow.”

In 2013, Falys co-founded the business with Rolph and David Nicholson and has since raised $30.3 million in total funding, including a $15 million Series B round closed in June. The Yoyo platform powers almost 2 million mobile transactions every month, a figure that represents 2.5x increase in usage over the past year. Rolph debuted Yoyo on stage at FinovateEurope 2015. The company currently serves more than 2,000 retailers across the U.K. and Ireland. Last month, Yoyo partnered with Starling to enable Starling members to earn rewards when they use their payment card at retailers that are partnered with Yoyo.

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Yoyo Wallet Raises $15 Million in Series B

 

 

In a round led by Horeca, London-based Yoyo Wallet has raised more than $15 million (£12 million) in new funding. Alain Falys, company co-founder and CEO, said the new investment “will allow us to provide the benefits of customer identification and mobile engagement to a wider array of retailers, large and small, in the U.K. and across Europe.” Horeca is the venture capital arm of German retail conglomerate, Metro Group.

Also participating in the round, which takes Yoyo Wallet’s total capital to more than $30 million, were Woodford Investment Management and Touchstone Innovations. Hansjorg Sage, Metro Group digital unit GM, highlighted Yoyo’s partnership with Caffe Nero, the #3 coffee retail chain in the U.K., as evidence of the company’s “strong track record of deploying digital technology at the customer interface.” Sage said the the trend toward greater digitization in the food and beverage segment of the hospitality industry gave companies like Yoyo Wallet the chance to make a “meaningful positive impact on a wide spectrum of retail businesses.” As part of the investment, still subject to FCA approval, Metro Group partner James Hook will join the Yoyo Wallet board of directors.

Pictured: Yoyo co-founder and COO Michael Rolph demonstrating the Yoyo mobile app at FinovateEurope 2015.

With more than 400,000 registered users and an acceptance network of more than 1,700 outlets, Yoyo Wallet combines payments and loyalty into a seamless mobile experience. The company leverages QR code technology to enable PoS payments, providing SKU-level digital receipts for each transaction while also recording and applying any rewards or loyalty points the purchaser is due into the Yoyo app. Available on iOS and Android platforms, Yoyo wallet features the ability for users to send rewards (“yo-yo’ing”) to others via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or other social media. Merchants can then tie other rewards to their customers who “yo-yo” the most. “Yoyo is now delivering proven benefits to a rapidly growing number of merchants and their customers in universities, corporate campuses, and the High Street,” Falys said.

Yoyo allows retailers build their own branded app, establish a branded presence within the Yoyo app, or use Yoyo’s acceptance rails and SDK to power their own solution. This gives retailers great flexibility in designing the specific mobile experience that is relevant to their customers. In their funding announcement, for instance, the company used the example of a restaurant chain providing customer experience-enhancing options such as being able to order and pay from the table with a Yoyo-powered app. Yoyo Wallet also provides an analytics and campaign generation platform for retailers to enable them to operationalize their insights into customer behavior and better personalize rewards and marketing campaigns.

Founded in 2013, Yoyo demonstrated its mobile app at FinovateEurope 2015. This spring, the company hired former PayPal GM Simon Moran as its first VP of Commercial. In February, Yoyo marked its 10 millionth transaction,  having “helped retailers across the U.K. and Ireland award over 1.2 billion loyalty points and 1.8 million coffee stamps.” Yoyo began the year with the introduction of its AI-powered, marketing automation platform, Yoyo Engage at Davos in January.

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